Newly-demoted Senate Minority Leader and Kentucky state Senator Mitch McConnell recently found himself on the receiving end of a brutal blasting from his own alma mater, the University of Louisville, after he appeared to severely downplay the importance and relevance of slavery in United States history.
During a university event earlier this week, the topic of the New York Times Magazine‘s 1619 Project — a project meant to reframe history in this nation to center around the importance and relevance of not just slavery but contributions made to history by Black Americans at the center of this country’s story — was brought up, with someone asking the KY senator about the project, to which he replied by ultimately dismissing the narrative altogether, according to a report from WDRB-TV.
“There are a lot of exotic notions about what are the most important points in American history,” McConnell responded when asked about the subject. “I simply disagree with the notion that the New York Times laid out there that the year 1619 was one of those years.”
One prominent member of the university was having none of it.
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In a university-wide email, one senior university administrator and the head of a committee overseeing its new anti-racism initiative admonished the Senate Minority Leader who graduated from U of L in 1964 and went on to establish the nonpartisan McConnell Center in 1991.
V. Faye Jones, interim senior associate vice president of diversity and equity, said, “To imply that slavery is not an important part of United States history not only fails to provide a true representation of the facts, but also denies the heritage, culture, resilience, and survival of Black people in America.”
Jones goes on to criticize the state’s senator and accuse him of failing to recognize the effects of systemic racism in this nation as well as the ways in which slavery continues to haunt the United States of America.
“What we know to be true is that slavery and the date the first enslaved Africans arrived and were sold on U.S. soil are more than an ‘exotic notion,'” Jones blistered. “If the Civil War is a significant part of history, should not the basis for it also be viewed as significant?”
Jones goes on to note that her views against McConnell aren’t just hers. She claims that university president Neeli Bendapudi and provost Lori Stewart Gonzalez also share her thoughts and feelings on the Kentucky senator.
Featured image via screen capture